Have you heard the story about the last student of Sosai Oyama’s to finish the 100-man Kumite?
Born in Melbourne, Judd Reid was invited to Japan at the age of 19, living and training under the strictest conditions for 1,000 days.
He went on to a 20-year international career in professional fighting, winning state tournaments, the Australia Championship, and becoming a world champion.
His storied career culminated with the 100-Man Fight, a legendary feat only completed by a few throughout history, documented by the film “Journey To The 100-Man Fight” and a book called The Young Lions.
“[The 100-man kumite] is something you can never prepare for, I dug deep and I drew on all my previous experiences in life, especially from my time in Japan. I drew from my persevering, never-give-up spirit. I believe, and I feel, what got me across the line was drawing on those experiences.”
“He (Oyama) was an absolutely amazing person. I feel sometimes that words cannot describe him the way he deserves, because he is an incredibly humble, caring person, and all he wants to do is get the best out of you. He always wants to inspire you to do well for yourself, and for you to succeed. That is what he was about — building your character and giving you confidence,” Reid recalls of his days under Oyama’s guidance.
“Sometimes, hewas very harsh on you. If you were not training hard and he saw you were stuck, he would come down on you, like, ‘Hey, you fool! You must straighten yourself up and train better!’ At the same time, if you were doing something right, he would say, ‘Well done. That is what I want to see. One day, you are going to be a world champion.’”
Now, Reid’s biggest wish is to give back through his own training center, Chikara Martial Arts, Millburn, Australia, teaching others the lessons he’s learned to help enrich their lives.
Uchi Deshi 1990 to 1993
Australian heavyweight title in 2002,
W.K.O. World Championship in Thailand 2010.
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